Piapa with Mom

Trip Start Jul 05, 2005
Trip End ??? ??, 2006

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

After mom's arrival (which was really late because she missed her miami connection), I had to travel for a few days. When I thought the travel was over for the rest of the year, my boss decided that we had one last week of travel. He was nice enough to allow me to go to Paipa which is driving distance (about 3 hours)from Bogota and meant that mom could go with me for the two days. So off we went! Lucho drove us to Paipa and on the way there we stopped at a roadside stand where arepas stuffed with cheese are sold (corn patties with melted cheese). I had stopped at this roadside stand many times before and had made friends with the woman who makes the arepas and the one who owns the stand along with their 3 kids (Michael, age 11;Erika, age 6 and Isabella, age 4). This family is poor by any standards, but oddly enough always happy to sell their empanadas. During my other trips to Paipa, i had stopped to eat arepas (Lucho loves them) and had struck up conversations with the kids as well. Michael is a very smart 11 year old and always had tons of questions on what America was like. The girls on the other hand were always very shy.

Before going to Paipa, I bought presents for the kids (nothing too expensive), but I thought they would like something to open since I wasn't sure their parents had the money to buy presents for them. Mom and I stopped for arepas and only Isabella was around, so I gave her her doll and she was so excited. It put a smile on my face as well. I told Isabella's mom that I would be stopping at the stand in two days and that if the other kids were around then, I would like to give them presents as well.

So, Thursday afternoon, we stopped by the roadside stand again and the kids were waiting. I got Michael a race car and Erika a doll). What I didn't know was that there was one more sister, Jessica (age 9). I felt awful that I didn't have anything for her and so did my mom. Mom gave her some money and I promised her that the next time I was in Paipa, I would stop by and bring her a present. The kids were really happy with their presents and we took pictures with them. We ate arepas of course and their mom, Fabiola gave us some free arepas to take with us. Lucho was very happy about that!!! After taking some picutres, we talked for a while and took some more pictures. Must admit that after leaving the kids, I couldn't decide if what I had done was a good thing or a bad thing. They were happy before I got there and I wonder if giving them presents was worse! Well, I guess I'll never know, but it felt like the right thing.

Hope you are all well.

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